Semen quality remains stable during the chronic phase of spinal cord injury: A longitudinal study

Viacheslav Iremashvili, Nancy L. Brackett, Emad Ibrahim, Teodoro C. Aballa, Charles M. Lynne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Purpose In a longitudinal study we examined changes in semen quality with time during the chronic phase of spinal cord injury. Materials and Methods Included in this study were 87 men with spinal cord injury who underwent 2 or more semen retrieval procedures with a minimum of 3 years between the first and last procedures. Patients were selected from our database of 500 with spinal cord injury who were volunteers enrolled in the Male Fertility Research Program of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis from January 1, 1991 through April 31, 2009. Semen was collected by masturbation, penile vibratory stimulation or electroejaculation. Semen analysis was done according to WHO criteria. We used a statistical generalized linear mixed model to analyze changes in sperm concentration, total sperm count, total motile sperm count and sperm motility with time. Results Mean patient age was 30.1 years (range 16 to 48) and mean time after injury at the initial sperm retrieval procedure was 7.1 years (range 1 to 26). Sperm concentration decreased slightly with time but all other parameters were unchanged, including total sperm count, indicating a stable, null pattern in measures with time. Conclusions Semen quality does not show clinically significant progressive changes during years after injury in men with spinal cord injury. This information is relevant for urologists who counsel these patients on family planning. Also, routine sperm freezing for fertility preservation is not indicated in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2073-2077
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010


  • Ejaculation
  • Fertility, male
  • Semen
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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